Putting a roof over your family’s head is step one but taking care of that roof is an essential part of protecting your home and family. A roof inspection is the best way to ensure the integrity and safety of your roof over time.
Many homeowners either forget or forgo roof inspections completely and it can lead to serious problems later.
Roof inspections are like an oil change for your car, get it done regularly, even though nothing is majorly wrong, and you can enjoy a healthy roof for years (or possibly decades) to come.
What Is a Roofing Inspection?
A roof inspection process is a visual and often written report that evaluates the current condition of your roof.
The inspector is frequently a certified roofing contractor who knows what to look for and can tell you if there are any missing or damaged shingles, leaks, clogged rain gutters, cracks, or other warning signs of existing or potential damage.
A proper roof inspection is typically not included in a home inspection and should be completed separately.
When Do You Need to Inspect Your Roof?
Roof inspections are commonly requested when you’re selling your home or renewing your insurance policy.
However, we recommend getting an annual checkup, just to be safe. If you have experienced any of the following in your area, it’s a good time to get inspected:
- When you’ve had a big hail, wind, or rainstorm.
- Visible vegetation damage, like broken trees nearby.
- When the roof is getting older and hasn’t been inspected recently.
- If you have a lot of tree coverage in your yard.
- If you notice roof penetrations or damages in any area of your roof, it’s time for a full inspection.
- Any sign of interior leaks.
What to Expect During a Roof Inspection?
An inspection should be a thorough and comprehensive process that includes the following 13 steps. Anytime you hire a contractor for inspection, they should include the following in their reporting:
- Interior Inspection: Checking the inside of the home for signs of water, moisture, or cracks. This should include the attic.
- Structural Inspection: The inspector should check for uneven roof planes or any signs of sagging.
- Material Inspection: This is a visual check for loose, missing, or curling shingles. Any damage to the materials including stains, moss, rust, or shingle aggregate.
- Workmanship Inspection: The inspection should include a check for any problems with the initial installation including incorrect flashings, vent pipes, or problems around skylights and chimneys.
- Cracked Roofing Materials: Minor hairline breaks may be difficult to see from the ground, so it’s important to check for small cracks in any roofing materials during the inspection.
- Signs of Moisture: Any moisture signs including mold, grime, and algae should be taken care of.
- Gutters Inspection: This includes ensuring the gutters are completely attached and the underlayment is intact.
- Flashing Inspection: Your roof inspector should know what kind of flashing you have, and whether or not it needs to be replaced.
- Skylights Inspection: Skylights usually have an 18–20-year lifespan. An inspection should include a check on the integrity of the skylights.
- Chimney Inspection: Checking the area around the chimney for pulling, curling, or damaged shingles is essential.
- Soil Stacks Inspection: Soil stacks should be checked thoroughly for cracks or any other issues.
- Repair Estimate: At the end of the inspection, you should receive an estimate of any recommended repairs.
DIY Roof Inspection vs. Hiring a Professional
You may be able to recognize obvious issues like leaks, holes, or missing shingles just by looking at your roof. However, a thorough roof inspection can only be done by someone who has expert knowledge of roofing materials and processes.
Additionally, you may make things worse by getting up on your roof when you don’t know what you’re doing or what you’re looking for. An inspection will always be safer and more effective if the pros do it.
Why Do Insurance Companies Request Roof Inspections?
Because of the cost of roof replacement, many homeowners’ insurance policies now come with ACV (actual cash value) roof coverage.
This means the insurance company will only pay for what the roof is worth at the time of the claim, and not the actual cost to replace it with a new one.
If you want a replacement cost policy, that type of policy costs more than an ACV policy, but it may be worth the additional premium.
Benefits of Getting a Professional Roof Inspection
Most people assume their roofs are doing just fine. In reality, they are quite vulnerable to damage.
- Uninspected, even simple damage can result in costly repairs. Staying on top of roof damage protects both your home and your pocketbook.
- Many times, you can get an inspection completely free from local and professional roofing companies in your area.
- Having a legitimate roof inspection always makes insurance claims faster and easier.
- A thorough inspection provides peace of mind that you are protecting your home and family.
- A roof inspection looks for leaks but may also expose fire hazards that you wouldn’t otherwise notice.
- Enjoy an enhanced sense of security.
- Learn how your roof “takes a punch” under normal circumstances and get a progress report of how your roof withstands the elements in your area so you can plan for the future.
What Does a Roof Inspection for Insurance Involve?
Whether you’re getting an inspection for your peace of mind or as a requirement for insurance coverage, the actual inspection is the same process.
Insurance companies often request a roof inspection so they can adjust their coverage accordingly. Because your insurance company will cover the structure and personal belongings in your home, the quality of the roof is an important element to them.
Typically, a homeowner’s policy will cover damage due to weather (wind, rain, hail, tornado, etc.) but will not cover everyday wear and tear due to the age or neglect of the roof.
How to File an Insurance Claim for a Damaged Roof After a Storm
If you’ve had a recent storm in your area, let your local roofing company inspect your roof as soon as possible. Generally, there is a statute of limitations for filing storm claims so the sooner the better.
- First, contact your insurance company. Let them know there was a storm in the area and that you’re having your roof inspected.
- Next, find a reputable roofing contractor in your area. We always recommend choosing someone reliable, with a longstanding history in the area.
- Your roofing professional will help you file an insurance claim and make sure the work they do will be covered by your insurance company.
- Next, the roofing contractor will meet with the insurance adjuster to ensure that they are on the same page about what work needs to be done and that the cost will be covered by the insurance policy.
- Once the paperwork is complete, you can schedule the repairs on the roof. The insurance provider will send a check to you and it’s your responsibility to pay the roofers.
How to Find the Right Roofing Inspector?
We always recommend choosing a reliable and local roofing contractor for your inspection.
Often “storm chasing roofers” will pop up after a storm and are gone as soon as they finish the work. These companies are often difficult to work with, so choose someone local in your area to work with.
Ask for referrals through people you trust, read reviews and ratings, and always ask about warranty options for their materials and labor.
How Much Does a Roof Inspection Cost?
Nothing! Most reputed roofing companies provide a free initial inspection. If you have a roofing company that charges for inspections, keep looking for a company that is willing to complete an inspection free of charge.
FAQ About Roof Periodic Inspection
Ready for Your Roof Inspection?
Although inspections are often a free service, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Having your roof inspected on a regular basis is an important part of homeownership and protects your investment.
Your roof is not something you want to neglect over time. Using a professional roof inspection allows you to avoid expensive and time-consuming problems in the future. If you’re looking for a free inspection in the Fort Wayne area, give us a call today.